If you are tired of your carpet looking tired, then it is essential that you are well equipped with both the tools and the knowledge to get rid of the stains that can make it so ill loved. You will find that most stains are pretty easy to get rid of if you attack them with the right technique, and as soon as possible after the staining has happened. There is a lot to be said for keeping the stained area wet and ensuring that there is no risk of the staining pigment drying and setting in to the stained area, as this will make it nigh on impossible to remove. You should also try and remove as much of the staining article as possible form the area before you start attacking the stain, as trying to clean the area up without doing so can result in spreading the stain in to a wider area, which if it sets in, will essentially make your problem a lot worse. If you feel like the stain is something that you can tackle, then have a look at some tips and tricks to doing so beneath. If not, then you may need to call the professionals in, and that can be a great but expensive option, so think carefully about your plan of action!
For a start, you will find that different carpets will react differently to different cleaning agents. PH neutral soap will be fine for everything really, but some acids and alkalis will not do so well for some carpets. You will find also that using enzymes to clean up stains like blood and grass will be all too effective if you have stained on a wool or silk rug, as the protein fibers used in those materials will be eaten away by the enzymes as they clean, leaving holes. If you are at all in doubt as to how to treat a certain stain, then it is essential that you either ask someone with some experience in the matter, or you test out the product on an area of the carpet that can not be seen. Most carpets do not have an area like this, so the professional advice option is usually a good shout.
You will find that carpet shampoos work well on most stains, but some will need some extra help. You can often get great results form oxi-action stain removers, that you simply work in to the affected area, and then vacuum out when they are dried. The issue of course with this is that in the drying process, any left over pigment may well dry in to the carpet fibers, and leave you with a stain, even after all of your hard work! Bleach and other more harsh chemicals will usually only be a last option on a hardy carpet, as with delicate fabrics and darker coors you are at risk of allowing the bleach to remove the color of the carpet itself, which will not be a stain as such, but a white scorch mark, if the bleach is left for too long! If you are using these things, then you should rinse them well after wards, to ensure that there is no chance of being left with a load of acid or alkali cleaner in the area, that will carry on working away at the spot, long after the stain is gone, as this could result in far worse problems!
The Rug Doctor: Why Do-it-Yourself Carpet Cleaning Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be
Sure, there is something to be said about completing a task by yourself – it’s satisfying to feel a sense of accomplishment and independence. However, when it comes to carpet cleaning, your best bet is to always trust the professionals. Unlike the Rug Doctor, or other carpet machine rental units, our machines are cleaned after every use. This ensures that no residual dirt or debris is transferred from one home or office to another. Because it is up to each individual Rug Doctor renter to clean the unit after he or she is done using it, you can never be sure that a carpet machine rental unit is providing you with the best possible care for your home and carpets. This is especially relevant for those with allergies: if a previous Rug Doctor renter had a pet, the hair and dandruff may be transferred into your home. Yuck!
It is also important to keep in mind that carpet machine rental units are shampooers, which may leave your carpet with residual chemicals due to less suction and the extended amount of time the chemicals spend in the carpet. Our method is called hot water extraction, where equipment sprays hot water and diluted cleaning chemicals, then immediately vacuums it up, along with any dirt or debris. This leaves much less opportunity for chemicals to soak into the fibers, keeping your home clean the natural way!
Although the Rug Doctor and other carpet machine rental units are advertised as the inexpensive solution to clean floors, additional products that are used for different types of messes can end up bringing the cost close to, or even higher than, professional cleaners. For example, one room of carpet may need multiple products to get pet stains, kitchen grease, and spilled drinks out. These are all out-of-pocket expenses when you rent a Rug Doctor. Our cleaners provide specialized chemicals and have the knowledge and professional experience to know when, and how much, to use. You can always trust the professionals at A-1!
Does Your Cat Keep Leaving Urine Stains on the Carpet?
Ever wonder why your cat always seems to leave urine stains on the carpet? Do you find yourself asking, why doesn’t my kitty at least have their accidents on the tile?
Dianda over at Cats & Co writes an interesting blog shedding light on as to why our furry friends prefer the carpet. Check it out at Cats vs. Carpets.
Most of the issues people have when it come to urine stains stem from the places that were left untreated until they became noticeable (either by discoloration or odor). Cats often times mark their territory in places other than their litter box, whether it be in the middle of your living room or in some discrete corner you can’t even see.
Before long, the microbes in the urine break down and release ammonia; this is the chemical most responsible for that cat pee smell. Even worse, at this stage mercaptan is also secreted. This chemical is the one that makes you want to run away whenever you see a skunk.
If your cat keeps making urine stains on your floor, try buying a new litter box for your furry friend. I have read that you should get a new box every six months, because cats have more sensitive noses than humans, and as such can smell some of the leftover odors in their cat boxes that we cannot. There can be many other reasons as to why your cat is urinating on your furniture. Identifying that reason can be the solution to getting your cat to use their litter box; reading this article from KittyWire can be incredibly useful in solving this issue.
And remember, if your pet has left urine stains that you just can’t seem to get up, then call us, A-1 Cleaning Service, LLC, to enzyme and steam clean those stubborn stains away!
Why is residential and commercial steam cleaning the superior, safest, and preferred method of carpet cleaning, and how does it compare to other methods?
What is external extraction?
“Hot Water Extraction”, or “Steam Cleaning”, the Extraction cleaning procedures are what nearly all carpet manufacturers in addition to carpet fiber manufacturers recommend as cleaning method for soiled floor coverings.
This method is frequently called “steam” cleaning due to the fine spray of water used to force dirt out of the carpet which is sucked up by the vacuum slot immediately in front of the spray. This is the only cleaning method classified as “deep cleaning”. All the others are considered “light surface cleaning” because they are incapable of removing soil deep in the pile. Other methods leave large amounts of cleaning agent in the carpet after cleaning.
The process consists of spraying a solution of water and detergent into the carpet pile and recovering the water and soil with a powerful vacuum into a holding tank. This is done from our truck-mounted unit outside the home with only the hose and floor tool brought inside. Truck-mounted systems usually are more powerful than portable units and do a much better cleaning job and get the carpet dry more quickly.
How long will it take my carpets to dry?
Normally between 4 and 8 hours. It all depends on what type of carpet you have, the humidity, air flow, and level of soiling.
What do I need to do before the technician arrives at my house?
Please have all furniture (couches, tables, chairs, beds, ottomans, etc.) moved off of the flooring you wish to have cleaned. Our technician will only help move furnite within reason.
Are there any risks to my health?
The truck-mounted system is preferred because the dirty air and humidity are exhausted outside rather than re-circulated around the house. Furthermore, if you happen to suffer from indoor allergens, getting your carpets professionally steam-cleaned can actually help benefit allergy sufferers. More often than not, thing such as dust, dust mites, pet dander and other allergy-prone factors that get trapped in carpets, especially if their thick or plus. Unfortunately, most vacuum or consumer-brand carpet cleaners don’t manage to get down far enough down to where allergens may be lurking, which is where steam cleaning can truly help. While products like raved-over handheld vacuums can be valuable in keeping carpets relatively clean, there are some dirts that can only be prevented through professional carpet steam cleaning.
How does steam clean differ from shampooing my carpets?
The theory in the shampoo method is to generate a lot of foam in the carpet, allow this foam to dry, have the resulting residue attract the soil, and vacuum up the residue and soil the next day. The problem is that they dry to a soft, sticky residue which will cause re-soiling. Because of the re-soiling problem, carpet shampoos will frequently also has an anti-re-soiling additive such as a resin to reduce this re-soiling tendency.
It really all depends on the type of job you need doing – for different reasons, it may be better to choose a small and quiet vacuum cleaner. For flats especially, you don’t want to keep your next-door neighbour awake with a big vacuum cleaner, and so the smaller version is probably the way to go!
Foam shampoos are actually very poor detergents and simply bury the dirt, they frequently also contain high levels of optical brighteners which take invisible ultraviolet light and convert it to visible light, thus making the carpet appear cleaner and brighter than it really is, for a while. It will eventually give the carpet a yellow cast and the yellow cannot be removed.
The Rotary Shampoo method can damage the carpet, especially cut pile (which is what most residential carpet is).
How does steam clean differ from ‘dry cleaning’ or ‘carbonated cleaning’?
This method is sometimes called “chem-dry”, “bonnet method”, or “dry cleaning”, which is a misnomer, since water is used. This method for carpet maintenance consists of the use of a rotary or oscillating brush adapted with a stiff brush or drive block designed to drive wet, damp or dry pads. The carpet can be sprayed with the cleaning solution and/or the pads can be soaked in the cleaning solution and squeezed lightly before placing the pad under the driving brush.
The maintenance brochure published by the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, Shaw Industries, suggests not using this method, especially on cut pile, due to pile distortion and fiber damage. This method has very limited capability for soil removal and leaves much of the detergent in the pile since it employs no real extraction. As a result, rapid re-soiling often occurs. Another disadvantage is that the spinning bonnet may distort the fibers of cut pile carpet, fuzzing the pile and leaving distinct swirl marks.
Sometimes, carbonated water is used to (in theory) give better soil suspension and bring down the pH. Check with your carpet manufacturer because many leading carpet mills recommend against this method of cleaning. Make sure you review your warrenty information, as bonnet method may void the warrenty of your carpet.
Can you get the pet odors out of my carpet?
Pet odor is a very common problem that could be much more complex than on first impression. Pet urine can easily soak through the backing of the carpet into the padding underneath. In more severe cases the urine can penetrate into the sub-floor beneath the padding. This creates a problem that is multi-layered. The urine also provides for the growth of bacteria. This in turn contributes to a worsening of the odor problem and can contribute to permanent color loss of the carpet fiber. To eliminate this problem, the urine must be removed or neutralized from each of the layers affected. If the contamination is limited to only the face yarn of the carpet then the cleaning itself may effectively remove the odor. In more severe cases a urine neutralizer may be applied. In the most severe cases, replacement of the carpet padding, treatment of the under-side of the carpet and the sub-floor may be required. Even replacement of the carpet, however, can not guarantee complete removal of the odor. So while we can try, it is not guarenteed, it all depends on the degree to which your carpet is contaminated.
One thing my grandma repeated to me a lot was that having a clean house helps you sleep better. But she wasn’t just talking about dusting and picking up your clothes off the bedroom floor, she also meant the carpets. What does having clean carpets in your home have to do with sleeping, you might ask. Well, this blog would like to share some information with you that you may not have thought about.
Lets start with the most obvious; having clean carpets makes your home look nicer, and helps you feel better. Keeping your carpets and padding dust and dirt free is good for the health of you and your family, and also extends the life of your carpets. Consider how leaving your carpet dirty can affect your health:
Allergies & Asthma: When allergy season is in, people often stay inside. Unfortunately, though, your carpet traps all these airborne particles that are let into the house. The good news is that fewer particles are disturbed when walking on carpets compared to other flooring, like hardwood or linoleum. The bad news though, is that while some allergens are stirred up, others settle into the fibers of your carpeting. Microscopic dust mites secrete proteins when burrowed deep into your carpet, and these proteins trigger symptons in 30% of people prone to allergens. While vacuuming frequently helps, it won’t get rid of the imbedded particles, pet stains, and dust like a professional cleaning would.
Mold: In the rainy seasons, liquids from leaky ceilings, pet accidents, high humidity, and spills can build up in the padding of your carpet. This moisture is the perfect environment for mold growth. Your carpet is also prone to mold when you use an at home shampooer if your carpet fibers don’t dry quickly or adequately enough. Carpet pads are the most likely place for mold to hide, as it is sandwiched between the carpet fibers and the subflooring, so it gets the least amount of air flow. It’s very unhealthy to let odors, dust, pet stains, mold, or any other particles built up in your carpet to settle, so learn to identify your mold problem before it becomes dangerous to you and your family. Then call a professional steam cleaner to help remove particles, neutralize odors, and decontaminate urine.
When cleaning your home, remember grandma’s words and don’t forget to add carpet steam cleaning to your wish list for a clean house.
Determine how often you should get your carpets cleaned with a few simple questions.
A question I’m commonly asked when talking about professional carpet cleaning is “how often?” Many manufacturers recommend that you get your carpets cleaned every 12-18 months. Places with high traffic, however, should consider getting them cleaned every 6 months. Here are a few helpful questions to ask yourself when you’re deciding if you carpets need cleaned.
Do you have any pets? How many? We all love our pets, but we also know how messy they can be at times. Pets shed their hair and have oils on their skin that can get into your carpeting. They don’t know anything about using a napkin when eating or wiping their feet of mud when coming into the house. When you have a lot of pets, you will need to clean pet stains from your carpets more often.
How often do you vacuum? Vacuuming twice a week is what most manufacturers suggest. Just remember that the better care you give your carpet between professional cleanings, the less often you’ll need to get your carpets cleaned. It’s also important to consider the quality of the vacuum you’re using. If it’s a cheap vacuum then it won’t be as effective as a higher-end vacuum. You can check best carpet vacuums here if you’re wanting a better vacuum.
Do you or your family suffer from allergies? A clean carpet can drastically reduce the allergens in the air, leaving it fresh smelling and making it easier to breathe. Depending on where you live, you may need to get your carpets cleaned 2-3 times year.
How many people live in the house? Does anyone wear shoes inside? This should come as no surprise, but walking around inside with your shoes on gets your carpets dirty a lot faster. More foot traffic also develops wear patterns on soiled carpet. Wearing socks or indoor-only slippers is the best way to preserve your carpets, as going barefoot can leave the oils on your skin in your carpet fiber.
What does your warranty require? Many people aren’t aware that your manufacturer requires this to keep your warranty form being voided.
You can see by just these few questions that the base question of “how often” can vary greatly between homes. As for the actual cleaning process, most carpet manufacturers recommend hot water extraction aka steam cleaning over a chemical process. This is because chemical or “dry” based cleaning uses large amounts of chemicals to make your carpet look nice. Not only does it leave chemical residue in your carpet that is not safe for kids or pets, but it doesn’t even remove pollutants or allergens.
With “steam cleaning,” the temperature and pressure of the water do most of the work, with little chemical used per gallon of water. The chemicals that are used are mild and biodegradable detergents that help to dissolve the dirt in the water, which is extracted before it can make its way down into the padding.